If you have been involved in a vehicle collision, you likely appreciate the financial consequences that can come with a crash. From vehicle repair costs to towing expenses, the financial impact of a crash can be substantial.
One expense not everyone anticipates is an increase in insurance premiums. The cost of these increases can bust the budget for many drivers. While at-fault motorists often face steep increases, insurance policies with accident forgiveness can soften the blow.
If you have questions about the steps to take after a crash, whether or not your policy includes accident forgiveness is only one important consideration. An experienced injury attorney could advise you on how best to proceed after a collision.
WHAT IS ACCIDENT FORGIVENESS?
Accident forgiveness is a specific set of terms written into an auto policy. Under certain situations, it guarantees an insured driver that the insurance companies will not raise their rates after an accident.
Under Georgia law, insurance companies cannot increase insurance premiums for drivers involved in an accident through no fault of their own. However, these protections are not extended to at-fault drivers. Most insurance companies increase premiums by dozens or even hundreds of dollars after a crash. An accident forgiveness add-on to an auto insurance policy prevents the insurance company from increasing rates even in cases where their driver was at fault.
This option is not available to everyone. Accident forgiveness is usually reserved for motorists with no recent moving violations or previous accidents. There are other potential qualifications depending on the insurance company. For example, some insurers require drivers to have an active policy with the company for at least a year before applying for accident forgiveness.
Finally, insurance companies generally charge additional fees for accident forgiveness. This leads to a trade-off where a policy that could keep a driver’s premiums down after an accident could cost more over time due to the additional fees.
THE VALUE OF ACCIDENT FORGIVENESS
Whether or not accident forgiveness is worth it depends entirely on the circumstances of the insured driver’s life. Motorists that are at higher risk of being involved in an accident might see value in these policy add-ons. The same might not be true drivers that are unlikely to be involved in a crash. Every motorist should weigh a variety of factors before purchasing accident forgiveness.
One important factor to consider is mileage. Drivers that spend more time behind the wheel are inherently more likely to be involved in a collision. With that in mind, accident forgiveness might make more sense for high-mileage drivers compared to a low-mileage driver.
Another consideration is location. The more congested the roadways, the more likely an accident is. Motorists that primarily drive on quiet streets might be less inclined to purchase accident forgiveness compared to city drivers.
It is also worthwhile to keep road conditions in mind. Some areas enjoy new, properly maintained roads. This is not true for other areas that experience dilapidated roads, missing road signs, or severe potholes. Drivers facing poor road conditions could benefit from accident forgiveness.
SPEAK WITH AN ATTORNEY FOLLOWING AN ACCIDENT
It is important to protect all of your legal rights following a motor vehicle crash. These rights include more than accident forgiveness protection under an auto policy.
Your rights could also potentially include the pursuit of a personal injury claim. Contact an attorney right away to discuss your rights following a crash.